About Us

The History of the Caledonian Challenge

Since its inception in 1996, more than 17,000 people have taken on the Caledonian Challenge and together raised over £13 million for Scottish communities.

In 1996 Angus MacDonald O.B.E and Alex Blyth ran the London Marathon dressed in kilts. They completed the 26 mile course in a time of around 5 hours. Their success inspired them to conceive of the first ever Caledonian Challenge.

In 1997 the inital challenge was to complete 30 munros in 4 days. Just two people completed the whole course! £16,000 was raised for charity.

1998 saw the Challenge move to the West Highland way. The course covered 62 miles from Glen Nevis to Inversnaid. There were 51 participants.

The next year over £300,000 was raised by 517 Participants. The course was shortened to 52 miles, finishing at Beinglas Farm.

2002 saw the event reach a peak in terms of participants with £945,878 raised by over 1600 Participants

The event ran very successfully for the next few years peaking at an annual fundraising total of £1,257,566 raised by 1349 Participants in 2007. The same year in which RBS became our title sponsor.

In 2010 the Challenge was sponsored by Tennants which was much appreciated by all our participants at the finish line!

RBS re-joined the Caledonian Challenge in 2011 and 2012. We also helped organise their own unique event in 2011 called The RBS Great Highland Hike. This was a fantastic success and alone helped raise over £300k for charity which was in addition to over £500k raised by our own participants on the Challenge.

2012 saw participant numbers start to rise again following a few years of understandable reduction. We had over 840 people take part on the Caledonian Challenge and the Caledonian Hike. The latter a shorter form (24 miles) of the Challenge. Together they helped raise over £600,000 for The Scottish Community Foundation.

2012 was also the first year that we allowed teams to nominate an additional charity for some of their funds. This led us to donating over £50k to many grateful charities on behalf of our participants.  

In 2013 we signed a sponsorship deal with Baillie Gifford Investment Managers which will see them as our Title Sponsor for the next 3 years. We also had support from our media sponsor The Scotsman Newspaper and our Outdoor Retail Sponsor was Cotswold Outdoor.

It was our 18th birthday in 2014 and we continued our great relationships with Baillie Gifford, The Scotsman and Cotswolds. Once again our participants conquered the route and the fundraising target, raising over £500,000 again. 

We receive additional support from James- Morrow,  Nairns Oatcakes and Tunnocks who donate a variet y of different products to support our participants with their fundraising and at the event itself.

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